Quebec entrepreneur and former Mitacs intern Azadeh Dastmalchi developed a medical-grade smartwatch after struggling to find a device that could help her father monitor his hypertension. Now, in addition to targeting the one in three adults suffering from high blood pressure in North America, her company VitalTracer is pivoting its solution to assist with early detection and monitoring of COVID-19 symptoms.
Who could have foreseen that humanitarian activities during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti would, 10 years later, guide the way for researchers, entrepreneurs and Mitacs interns during the COVID-19 crisis?
During his deployment at a Red Cross field hospital after the earthquake, Dr. Abdo Shabah saw the potential for greater use of technology in emergency health interventions.
When the second wave of the Spanish flu hit Canada over 100 years ago, the effect was even more devastating than that of its first wave. In fact, 90 percent of the deaths happened in the fall of 1918, during the pandemic’s second peak.
When Gurudeeban Selvaraj and Satyavani Kaliamurthi came to Canada in 2019, they had no idea they would be creating both a preventative vaccine and a curing drug to address the millennium’s biggest pandemic.
As of May 27, 2020, there have been 2,925,466 infected COVID-19 patients reported worldwide, with a total of 355,727 deaths. The rapid progression of the COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns regarding the short supply of medical equipment needed to control the rate of transmission and mortality. In most developing countries, transporting vaccines can be difficult without the proper storage technologies, since vaccines and equipment can spoil in high temperatures.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the total number of COVID-19 cases reached a high of 71,486 as of May 13, 2020 — with Ontario and Quebec collectively accounting for 83% of all cases and 92% of the Canadian death toll. With a mortality rate of 3.4%, COVID-19 has created an unprecedented — and growing — demand for a vaccine.
St.Amant, located in Manitoba, supports nearly 2,000 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism. In 2014, the St.Amant Foundation launched their Community Transitions program through which they offer community living options to people living at the residential care facilities administrated by St.Amant. While this transition enables them to live a full and active lifestyle in their communities, there was no study to actually assess what this means for their health and quality of life.
When the COVID-19 pandemic was announced and the Government of Canada called upon researchers and businesses to develop solutions, Ramtin Rasoulinezhad answered.
A graduate student at Western University, Ramtin was working as a research engineer supported by Mitacs Accelerate . He was working on the Net Zero Energy Building project with AVL Manufacturing when CEO Vince Discristofaro selected him to work directly with the Hybrid Solution Division.
Mental health changes over time, even more so than physical health. It is deeply influenced by our relationships with our friends, family, colleagues, and our general environment — making each person’s concerns unique. According to the B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, suicide has become the ninth leading cause of death in Canada, with British Columbia holding the highest rate of hospitalization due to mental illness and substance use. Research suggests that the social stigma that surrounds mental health prevents 40 percent of people from seeking proper care.